Letters to the editor – Tuesday (12-22-09)
Challenging Alcoa will be costly
A friend (at least I think so) gave me a couple of articles from recent editions of a local paper, one by a Mr. Geary and the other by a Mr. Naujoks. Both were lengthy and each seemed to paraphrase the other in content and reasoning.
The strange point to me was that neither touched on the costs of acquiring Alcoa property. I imagine they both know that any condemnation, if FERC asks Congress to exercise eminent domain, will result in fair market value having to be paid to Alcoa by the state. Eminent domain is defined as, “The right of a government to seize private property for public use, in exchange for payment of fair market value.”
I happened to read Scott Mooneyham’s column of Dec. 3. He makes an interesting point, “…the (Kelo) ruling was widely condemned by most everyone not employed by a local government or not blinded by some definition of progress so narrow (italics mine) that any governmental act can be justified.
The two anti-Alcoa articles seem to ignore the reality of costs by pretending that pre-condemnation values would be the rule. The city of New London, Conn., found out that eminent domain condemnation is costly in litigations and in fair market value settlements.
One would think that with the governor, seeing her deficits growing, would rethink her involvement. We just learned that our state has a minimum unemployment benefit deficit of $2 billion for 2009 and of another $2 billion in 2010. Prudence would seem to be the action now needed.
It is time to cut to the chase and follow the money to learn the real reasons behind the actions by the anti-Alcoa people. Who really is going to gain? Who really pays?
Why isn’t there a better compromise than forcing condemnation of private property for “progress so narrow”?
ó Thomas M. McCluskey
Bill Ward, writer of the piece in Sunday’s Post about Appomattox, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. com. The address listed with the article was incorrect.